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Old 16th March 2011, 06:40 AM   #1
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Question Unusual Request! Advice needed

Hello all,
I realize this is an unusual request, but here goes....
The building I live in is very poorly insulated for sound. Until recently I had a lovely old lady living upstairs, but when she left a young couple moved in and immediately installed laminate flooring that amplifies every sound they make through the floor. I have tried to diplomatically address the issue (some of my work involves conflict resolution), but it has not had any positive effect and they seem to take pleasure in being difficult. I have no interest in stereo wars, am not a ceiling thumper and have been thinking long and hard about how to somehow resolve this issue.
So I've come up with an idea that I am considering. I am pretty ignorant about audio technology, so I have no idea if this is feasible or not. What I would like to do is have some sort of feedback mechanism in place, whereby any noise they make is amplified back at them through the ceiling. Some sort of microphone and speaker set up...are you getting a sense of my limited smarts in this area, grin? I have tried googling different things to get info, but I think my limited knowledge of even the basic terms is hindering this.
So...if anyone here could weigh in on this I'd reallly appreciate if. If you think I'm insane, so be it, but I thought asking some experts might be useful. Thanks in advance for any advice offered.
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Old 16th March 2011, 07:05 AM   #2
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Something like this should b able to turn the ciling into a speakr Aura AST-2B-4 Pro Bass Shaker (it might take a few of them)

then ithen some sort of surface transducer to capture the signal (some sort of mictophone or accelerometer). If the signal capture is also on the ceiling you'll get quite the feedback loop (which may be a problem). The input signal may ned to be shifted down in frequency to get the energy in the right band.

I imagine there is the potential for the upstairs neighbors to think some sort of earthquake is happening. I will take no responsibility for things falling off walls or shelves or tables. And it is unlikely going to be pleasant in your place either.

dave
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Old 16th March 2011, 08:37 AM   #3
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This might give a little more info Active noise control - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I remember seeing on TV many years ago (the show was called towards 2000) active noise control systems. One of the applications was car exhausts. I also have a friend who worked for a small airline that employed active noise cancelation in their turbo prop planes to reduce the noise levels inside the plane. The main problem that your particular problem is going to face I would think, is that the ceiling is a very large radiator so you can't target specific spots.

Tony.
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Old 16th March 2011, 08:45 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by casalang View Post
Hello all,
I realize this is an unusual request, but here goes....

So I've come up with an idea that I am considering. I am pretty ignorant about audio technology, so I have no idea if this is feasible or not. What I would like to do is have some sort of feedback mechanism in place, whereby any noise they make is amplified back at them through the ceiling. Some sort of microphone and speaker set up...

Thanks in advance for any advice offered.
No technical advice but an observation...

Lying in be awake at three in the morning, all manner of harebrained schemes involving complex and explosive retribution seem plausible and even valid.

The cold harsh light of day often exposes them for what they are - wishful self-delusion.

Do you have a body corporate who manages your building? When a personal diplomatic approach fails, the appeal to authority is generally the best next move, not Wil E Coyote constructions...
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Old 16th March 2011, 12:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planet10 View Post
Something like this should b able to turn the ciling into a speakr Aura AST-2B-4 Pro Bass Shaker (it might take a few of them)

then ithen some sort of surface transducer to capture the signal (some sort of mictophone or accelerometer). If the signal capture is also on the ceiling you'll get quite the feedback loop (which may be a problem). The input signal may ned to be shifted down in frequency to get the energy in the right band.


dave
The proper solution is that your neighbours should have put down sound absorbent flocking type underlay...this makes those otherwise deafeningly loud floorings just about silent and totally improves their room acoustics also.

I put a couple of similar bass shakers in a mates car under the front seats ..way cool.
A microphone on a stand in a nodal spot feeding and amplifier via a graphic eq driving a bass shaker or two ought to get the message across....then again they might decide that they like it.

Eric.
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Old 16th March 2011, 05:40 PM   #6
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I would agree with aadvarkash on this one. If you are in a building with a landlord/manager, contact them first. If this goes nowhere, check with the regulations in your town/city. Many town and cities these days have noise ordinances to help with these sorts of issues. Good luck.

Peace,

Dave
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Old 16th March 2011, 06:13 PM   #7
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I would definatley discuss this with the landlord. You can also put acoustic treatment on your ceiling (even carpet will work some) but then thats money out of your pocket unless you can convince the landlord that the tenants either have to rip up the new flooring to install acousitc insulation under it or pay for treatment on your ceiling.
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Old 18th March 2011, 07:43 PM   #8
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my sympathies to you. i lived in a ground floor unit beneath a korean couple for three years. i never knew they were there, especially that they had two kids,aged three and four. things must have improved for them as they moved out and most unfortunately some white trash moved in. i was stunned to realize that my space had become unliveable overnight. speaking to them in a reasonable manner was just a cause for them to assert their 'rights' to behave as pigs tromping across the pen in search of the next 'good' thing. i don't know if complaining to management did any good as this crew seemed to self-destruct after about a year and vanished. made me decide i'd never live on anything but the top floor again.
i understand the desire to dose your tormentors w/their own medicine, but it usually just causes an escalation. pester the dickens out of management-you should have some right to enjoyment of a certain amount of peace and privacy for the rent you pay. rugs upstairs would probably help. i hope you can work something out because i know this is a life changer.
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Old 18th March 2011, 09:13 PM   #9
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Subs. Mounted to the ceiling (does not have to be directly mounted to avoid modifying your building ... real close is fine ... think tall MDF cabinets).

Then, acquire a taste for Disco. Reggae. Maybe some Hip-Hop. Captain Beefheart, Ramstein, take your pick. Don't neglect movies on repeat with the DVD player.

Doesn't matter, really ... you will be only playing this when you're out. Filter the heck out of it if you want ... like just playing the sub with LFE and no 2/5/7 channels playing. No point in annoying ALL the neighbours, after all.

Like, every single time you leave the apartment for any reason. Maybe even take a 3-day vacation (sounds like you need it) or maybe visit whichever relative you've been unfairly neglecting.

I'm not suggesting this is the best course to take, just joining in the spirit of the thread.

A somewhat civilized alternative would be checking building codes ... there are noise transmission in shared space regulations. This gets your building owner involved, and faced with spending money, they tend to come around and could be persuaded to get the problem tenant to properly install the floor, which is the essence of the problem. They just tried to be cheap and omit the one recommended step for the install.
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Old 21st March 2011, 11:32 AM   #10
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I don't think that the intention was to cause the neighbours grief, it was to cancel out the noise (presumably in a way that was non-intrusive)

But Dave has a good point about the bylaws.. Our strata plan has a specific clause in it that says that a tenant must NOT put hard flooring in unless suitable underlay is used to ensure that there is no noise transmission to the units below. Find out your rights and excercise them, if they have done the wrong thing by the by-laws and it is causing you grief, you have an avenue to persue, you have already tried reasoning, so it's not like they didn't get a chance to do something about it.

Tony.
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